I have to say, I’m starting off with this project because it is my favorite, I think, of all the things I’ve made for babygirl’s nursery. It’s whimsical and fun and playful, everything I think a nursery should be, but I tried to keep it a little sophisticated, too, with the colors and fabric choices. I love it, anyway, so that’s all that really matters, right?
First off, the inspiration and pattern I used: I pinned this image months ago, loving the idea of a hot air balloon mobile, though that one was a little out of my price range. I knew I could find a way to make one myself (I’m sorry, it’s a sickness), so I was thrilled when I found this pattern for an adorable felt hot air balloon mobile. I used the downloadable pattern to cut out my pieces, but I modified the instructions a bit, as I’ll show you below.
To start with, I had a selection of fabric scraps from my other baby projects that I wanted to use for the mobile instead of felt.
I decided at the outset that I wanted to make just three balloons, one of each size (an odd number is always more visually appealing than an even number). I planned them so that of the eight panels of fabric required to make the balloons, each would have four panels of one fabric and two panels each of the other two. So I cut out my fabric pieces and then arranged them accordingly on my sewing table to make sure I was sewing the correct pieces together.
Using my sewing machine, I stitched around one edge of each pair of panels
Taking the still inside-out set, pull it open along the long edge, creating a canoe-shape. Nest a right-side out piece inside your little canoe, matching tops and bottoms and making sure that the right sides of all the fabrics are together.
Now sew along one edge
And repeat with the other two sets until you have two balloon halves.
Repeat the steps of turning one right-side out and nesting it inside the other half.
Sew along each edge, leaving a 2 inch section open at the narrow end. Turn right-side out and stuff with fiberfill, then hand-stitch the bottom seams closed and use the circle pattern piece to close off the very end.
To make the baskets for each hot air balloon and add the embellishments, I used an empty toilet paper roll and an assortment of felt. This is where you can just be creative and have fun with making your own.
The largest basket is simply a piece of the toilet paper roll wrapped in felt, with a circle of felt hot-glued to the bottom.
To make the smaller baskets, I slit the roll open and cut off a section until I was happy with the size, then wrapped those in felt as well. Then I attached each basket to the balloons with assorted bakers twine and yarn.
To hang the balloons, I used the inside of a large embroidery hoop and wrapped it in a chunky yarn I fell in love with.
I used four more pieces of yarn to suspend the hoop, then hung that from a length of hardware chain I picked up at Home Depot. I attached the balloons at varying heights, then draped the hoop in a mini-flag bunting and some pom pom trim.
And one more pull-back, for good measure.
What do you think? This was a labor of love (turning that tiny balloon right-side out and stuffing it was a little tricky) for sure, but I enjoyed every minute. Hopefully babygirl enjoys the view and contrast, as soon as I let her out of my arms for long enough to actually sleep in her crib. Just a few more days until she’s here!